Matt Paterson has shot to the top of the Hawks January transfer window shopping list as Gosport Borough accused their rivals of unsettling the player.
The 25-year-old Borough striker has netted 17 goals this season and has attracted interest from Swindon Town and now Oxford United.
But the Westleigh Park side made a second offer of £7,000 yesterday after seeing their initial £5,000 bid rejected.
Borough chairman Mark Hook dismissed the approach and claims it is a tactic to disrupt his club.
But Hawks boss Lee Bradbury insists it is a genuine offer, even though he decided against signing him back in the summer after a loan spell last term.
Bradbury said: ‘I’m definitely interested. He is a player I like.
‘We had him here for a month at the back end of last season but we didn’t see the best of him because he wasn’t getting regular games.
‘The team was playing well at the time and he didn’t get as much of a chance as he would have liked.
‘He’s gone to Privett Park and got regular games, he has trained and started to fulfil his true potential.
‘I’m not too confident about getting him because there is interest from league clubs as well.
‘But I couldn’t sit by and just let him go when he was available.
‘If we weren’t genuinely interested, we wouldn’t have gone back with a second offer.
‘If we were supposedly just trying to unsettle a player, if we put in a bid and it was accepted, we would be stuck with a player we don’t want.
‘So we will have to wait and see if anything comes of it.’
The Hawks already have an abundance of strikers with Ben Wright, JJ Hooper, Bradley Bubb, Alan Connell and Shamir Mullings all vying for places.
But Bradbury has no plans to ship anyone out.
He said: ‘If we got him, it doesn’t mean we would offload anyone.
‘A club is only as good as its strikers, as Paterson and Justin Bennett have proved for Gosport this season.
‘Paterson would give us something different if we can get him through the door.’
Borough, meanwhile, are keen to hang on to the former Southampton man but would accept his departure for a return to the Football League.
Hook said: ‘Havant & Waterlooville had him there on loan and didn’t want to sign him when he was available for nothing.
‘I can understand them trying to unsettle Gosport and I have always said to our players that I will not stand in their way if a league club comes in for them.
‘To be honest, we don’t have a price in mind. But you only have to look at the Charlie Austin deal when he left Poole Town to go to Swindon.
‘Poole had a sell-on clause and then made a lot of money when he was sold on to Burnley.
‘I believe that Pato has the ability to play at a much higher level and I need to look at the long-term potential.
‘If he went to a League One or League Two club, we could arrange a pre-season friendly with their first team and things like that.
‘There are a variety of reasons we won’t sell to a club in our division and it’s not just because it’s Havant & Waterlooville.’